Coaching Skills

Live Course

We are deeply committed to helping people engage in responsible practice.

That’s why we developed our foundational coaching skills program. This course introduces learners to the coaching relationship and provides an experiential learning environment in which they develop foundational coaching competencies.

We train for mastery. We introduce skills, provide opportunities for practice and feedback, and discuss culture and other factors that might impact these skills. This course is appropriate for educators, therapists, managers, or those seeking to become coaches.

Learning Objectives:

  •  Sophisticated facilitation skills
  • How to ask deep questions
  • Tools for creating trust and safety for clients
  • How to fast-forward positive client change
  • An ethical approach to coaching

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What you will learn

Your Instructor

Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener

Course Details

37.5 credits
Course Fee: $2300

This 10-week distance learning program uses a virtual classroom for reading and pre-recorded lectures and Zoom for interactive instruction. There are seven sessions. Each is offered twice to accommodate people living in all time zones. 

September 20 or 21
September 27 or 28
October 4 or 5
October 11 or 12
November 1 or 2
November 8 or 9
November 15 or 16

You are also encouraged to attend the weekly practicum session to accelerate your skills development. We offer high-touch personalized service to ensure you get the most out of this course.

Course Schedule

Starts on September 20, 2024
Ends on November 30, 2024

Class Time Options

Friday 5 to 8 pm Pacific Time
Saturday 9 am to 12 pm Pacific Time

Generally, coaches with years of experience with a wide range of clients are not required to take coaching skills. Even so, formal training can be helpful in improving competency even for seasoned coaches. Even certified and experienced coaches take this course.

Coaching Skills includes pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, reflections, and other learning features. The more time you invest in these out-of-class activities the deeper your learning will be. There is generally five hours of out-of-class material per week. We also host optional practicum sessions in which students can discuss and practice skills. Finally, we encourage you to partner with a peer from the course to practice coaching each week.

This course is offered in a completely digital format. We recommend a reliable Internet connection.

We focus on coaching theories, frameworks, and specific competencies. We also address some research published in academic journals on coaching and psychology. We also provide additional reading, including research, for those wanting a deeper learning experience.

No. You only need to attend one session. We offer two sections of this course to make it convenient for people in all time zones. The content of both sections is identical and you are free to attend whichever section you prefer.

The content is the same between both sessions.  Although students register for primary attendance in one of the two sessions, you are welcome to attend the alternate session if you have a schedule conflict. In addition, all students have access to the recordings of both sessions and are encouraged to practice coaching with attendees of either session. 

We host sessions that are intended specifically for coaching practice. These practicum sessions are not mandatory but are strongly encouraged as a way to practice coaching skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Practicum is not required and we understand that not everyone will be able to attend. Even so, we strongly encourage people to attend practicum every week they are able. In our experience, people who attend practicum, who have an opportunity to practice and to get feedback, and who engage in deeper discussions of coaching often accelerate their learning and professional development.

The practicum for this course is held twice on Wednesdays to cater to people who live in diverse time zones. These hour and a half sessions are held at 9 am US Pacific Time and 3 pm US Pacific Time. Students can attend any practicum session they want (or both!).

Yes, the hours in our courses are approved by the ICF and can be used for reaccreditation purposes.

100% refund available within 24 hours of registration.

90% refund available up to 3 weeks before the start of the course.

50% refund available within 3 weeks before the course begins. 

Yes. We offer monthly payment plans with no additional fees. At checkout, you will have the opportunity to use a monthly payment plan. If the payment plan you prefer is not listed, email us at and we can get you set up!

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions?

Learning should be challenging and satisfying

We care that each and every student has a peerless learning experience. As a result, we listen to your specific needs and support your learning in a highly personalized way.

What our alumni say

A friend in the coaching industry pointed me to Positive Acorn and Robert Biswas-Diener. Her words were “Robert helped me realize just how legitimate and relevant the coaching industry really is”. After completing the ACC credential courses and mentoring program with Positive Acorn, I couldn’t agree more. I feel very lucky to have ended
up with Robert not just because of his undeniable qualifications and deeply considered teaching techniques, but also because of the very high level of students he attracts. 

Jeffrey Mince

As a survivor of dozens of uninspiring professional development classes, I found Robert’s teaching style distinctive, refreshing and effective. Robert grounds every class in scientific evidence, then adds insights harvested from years of research, teaching, and coaching experience. He does not limit his focus to any one model or coaching approach and I valued the exposure to many. Key to my learning was Robert’s teaching style. He expected students to bring their A-game. He invited us to be prepared, to challenge assumptions, and to never lose sight of the ethics, competencies and humble curiosity that are foundational to professional coaching.

Carolyn Cumpsty-Fowler


This has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some great ones!). The high calibre of my fellow classmates was very inspiring, and I have learnt so much from coaching with them – in class and beyond. I would wholeheartedly recommend Positive Acorn to any students looking for robust coach training.

Lucy Orton

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